Progress on the 21st Century Writing Desk was put on hold while I built a customized wooden box to protect an expensive piece of equipment for a friend in the tree business. (This kind of friend is good to have if you’re a woodworker!)
He had recently acquired a portable winch which, while seemingly well-made, contained a number of parts that were liable to get bent or broken in the back of a truck. To further compound the issue, the winch wasn’t particularly stable, and it didn’t take much imagination to see it tipping over when turning a corner.
The objective was to make a sturdy, but lightweight box to protect it in transit. Function was first priority, and it didn’t have to look particularly nice or involve fancy joinery.
I started by milling Douglas fir, which he had provided, down to roughly 1/2″ thick and ripped the boards to a uniform width of 4-1/2″. I cut them to length which resulted in an inside dimension of about 16-1/2″.
Using 4 mm Domino floating tenons, I reinforced the butt joints and assembled four boxes measuring 4-1/2″ x 17-1/2″ x 17-1/2″ in a pinwheel fashion where one end of each board was exposed.
I didn’t want to rely on the Dominos to hold the box together, so I stacked and glued the layers in a way that interlocked them. The edge-to-edge glue joints were plenty strong, and with the Domino joints interlocking between the layers, there was no way the box was going to come apart.
To install the top and bottom of the box, I used simple battens attached to the sides of the box above and below the floating panels. I then worked out the shapes and sizes of a few strategically placed blocks that supported the winch and allowed it to be easily lowered in or removed.
I trimmed out the box with strap hinges, draw latches, a rope lid stay and rope handles.
Lastly, I added skid feet to help protect the box and allow it to slide more easily into the back of a truck.
This was a simple design with a simple purpose.